Friday, March 25, 2011

POLITICAL DIGEST 03/26/2011 CONSERVATIVE

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

Resources
For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

War: Obama's fatal attraction
Excerpt: Instead, we elected Barack Obama, who firmly rejected military action for purely humanitarian reasons. In his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq war, Obama insisted that though Saddam Hussein "butchers his own people to secure his own power," the war was unjustified. Hussein, he pointed out, "poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors" and "can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history." In 2008, we saw debates between Obama and his rival contenders. Now we are seeing a debate between Obama the Candidate and Obama the President.

NATO to take over no-fly zone
Excerpt: NATO countries have agreed to take over enforcement of the no-fly zone above Libya, U.S. and NATO officials said Thursday. (And the Military Commander of NATO is…Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James G. Stavridis, United States Navy. NATO has had the command in Afghanistan for a long time, but that hasn’t seemed to lessen the US role or reduce the time of the “kinetic military action” there. Of course, that Cowboy Bush” got approval of the US Congress before going into Iraq and Afghanistan. How quaint. ~Bob.)

As a military superpower, the US is finding it hard to pass off lead role on Libya to others
Excerpt: For decades, the United States has been the go-to power for other Western nations for leading international military endeavors. Now it is struggling to shed that image as it tries to dial back its role in confronting Libya, but it’s been a rocky path. Each passing day is drawing the Pentagon deeper and deeper into the ground battle in Libya against the forces of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. This was driven home when NATO agreed late Thursday to take over just part of the military operations against Libya — enforcement of the newly established no-fly zone, following days of discord and hard bargaining among its members.

To some in Libya, ‘Brother Leader’ Gaddafi still a hero
What? Libyans are opposing the CNN-anointed “brave freedom fighters”? Bomb them! Civilians too! Barack has said he must go, and if we have to kill every pro-Gaddafi citizen, that we will do! (Hint to the media—try to not have any photographers present when the cute kid in the picture gets it. Disturbs the narrative.) ~Bob. Excerpt: How deep that support runs in a populace that has been governed by fear for decades is impossible to tell. But six days into the allied bombardment of Libyan military targets, it is clear that Gaddafi can count on the fierce loyalties of at least a significant segment of the population in the vast stretches that lie beyond the enclave of rebel-held territory in the east.

Excerpt: So the air war in Libya is not actually a war, according to the White House: It's "kinetic military action," or a "time-limited, scope-limited military intervention." Hmm. That kind of sounds like a type of war, doesn't it? The striking thing about the debate over Libya is that almost no one who doesn't actually work for the Obama administration seems to be defending their actions without any reservations; even supporters add caveats. Nick Kristof celebrates the accomplishment in Benghazi, where a bloodbath was averted when allied fighters took out dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers enroute to Libya's rebel-held second city. This is indeed something to celebrate, and Americans ought to be proud of the role our airmen, sailors, and Marines have played in averting a humanitarian disaster (for now). But even Kristof concedes "that there are enormous uncertainties: Can the rebels now topple Colonel Qaddafi? What's the exit strategy? How much will this cost?"

Antiwar Senator, War-Powers President
Excerpt: President Barack Obama has again flip-flopped on national security—and we can all be grateful. Having kept Guantanamo Bay open, resumed military commission trials for terrorists, and expanded the use of drones, the president has now ordered the U.S. military into action without Congress's blessing. Imagine the uproar if President Bush had unilaterally launched air attacks against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. But since it's Mr. Obama's finger on the trigger, Democratic leaders in Congress have kept quiet—demonstrating that their opposition to presidential power during the Bush years was political, not principled.

Obama avoiding major Libya address
The “Leader,” Barack “I am the ditherer” Obama waits for the path to become clearer, before speaking to the little people. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Barack Obama is resisting pressure to deliver an Oval Office speech explaining his policy on Libya — in part, because he doesn’t want to equate what he regards as a smaller, time-limited mission with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Administration officials haven’t ruled out a big speech, but Obama is reluctant to make a major address on Libya until the United States hands over most command and combat duties to its allies. That’s not to say the president won’t talk about Libya over the next few days, aides say, but he’s not likely to succumb to pressure to deliver a long, explanatory address to outline his elusive endgame to the nation until the path ahead becomes clearer.

The Benghazi rebellion in East Libya is shameful
Can’t be true—CNN calls them “brave freedom fighters.” ~Bob. Excerpt: The murder and rape of Black African migrants in Benghazi (East Libya) reduces the value of anti-Qaddafi rebels' claim to justice.

NH Supreme Court: homeschooled girl must go to public school against mom’s wishes
Excerpt: Because no harm was demonstrated and the girl was acknowledged to be academically superior and socially interactive, even by the court, Simmons argued that the homeschooling arrangement should not have been changed. However, in the original order issued in July 2009, Judge Lucinda V. Sadler reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.”

VIDEO: Herman Cain Remembers Segregation
Excerpt: Believe it or not, believe it or not, Cain’s team had to put this video out in order to debunk the insane claim from some on the left that … Cain supported segregation. Matt Lewis asked him a question during an interview about his memories of Jim Crow and he answered with a story about him and his brother as kids sneaking a drink from a “whites only” water fountain and comparing it to the water in a “coloreds only” fountain. The lesson Cain learned: “The water tastes the same! What’s the big deal

San Francisco Becomes A Child-Free Zone As Youth Population Declines http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/03/san-francisco-becoming-child-free-zone-youth-population-declines
Support Abortion and Birth Control—they kill off more liberals and Democrats. ~Bob. Excerpt: Despite efforts to stem the tide of family flight, the population of children in San Francisco continues to ebb. Families that remain in The City are bucking the trend that has plagued San Francisco for years as the number of children — defined as people up to 17 years old — has dropped from 181,532 in 1960 to 107,524 today, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures. The 2000 census counted 112,802 youths. The decrease is disappointing news for city officials, who have attempted to counter the family-flight trend by creating more affordable housing, improving schools and cutting costs, such as a college savings account for kindergarten enrollees.

Former Marine Foils Attempted Smuggling of 13 Illegal Immigrants in Military Uniforms
Excerpt: An alert plainclothes U.S. Border Patrol agent who previously served in the Marine Corps foiled a brazen attempt by 13 illegal immigrants and two suspected U.S. smugglers to enter the United States by asking the driver a simple question that every Leatherneck knows: When is the Marine Corps' birthday? On Nov. 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress, according to the U.S. Marines' website. Formal recognition of the event, however, did not occur until 1921. Prior to that year, it's unclear whether any celebration was held. But every Marine is taught to remember that historic date -- and the incorrect answer tipped off Border Patrol agents at the Campo Border Patrol Westbound I-8 checkpoint on March 14 near Pine Valley, Calif.

Saudi Tanks Roll Where Obama Fears To Tread
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia is the last country an American should respect, having spawned fifteen of the nineteen 9-11 murderers and continuing to fund and spew hate-filled, anti-Western, anti-Semitic Wahhabi-inspired propaganda everywhere in the world. But however grudgingly, we must tip our hats to a country with a coherent foreign policy that uses its military -- unilaterally and unapologetically -- to defend its interests and allies against real or perceived threats. Hence we might almost applaud as Saudi tanks boldly rolled through the streets of Shia-dominated Bahrain to guard its Sunni monarch and staunch Saudi ally King al-Khalifa against potential overthrow by Iranian-backed street mobs. Behaving like a superpower concerned about its survival and willing to defend its friends, Saudi Arabia sent dozens of tanks via the King Fahd causeway into neighboring Bahrain.  King al-Khalifa thanked the Saudis profusely, clearly unconcerned about the opinion of the international community as the Saudi contingent crossed into Bahrain without permission from the Arab League or the sanction from a UN Security Council plebiscite.

Michigan first to act as states weigh reductions in unemployment benefits
What? The money’s gone? Alert the rioters! ~Bob. Excerpt: Michigan moved Thursday to significantly cut its unemployment program, becoming the first of what could be a flurry of debt-laden states to reduce aid even as high jobless rates persist. The Michigan measure reduces the maximum period a person can receive state unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks, the lowest in the nation, officials said. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) indicated Thursday that he would sign the bill. The state’s economic troubles, aggravated by the recession and its shrinking manufacturing base, have turned Michigan into a bellwether of bust. Its unemployment rate stands at 10.7 percent — one of the worst in the country.

The GOP’s Census problem
Elect Republicans—it will delay the collapse by a year or two. Maybe. ~Bob. Excerpt: When the Census released its reapportionment totals in December, much of the focus was on the new seats in red states, and how it was a good thing for Republicans. The data released by Census on Thursday, though, shows how those same population shifts are creating new challenges for the GOP. While much of the shifting population is moving to red states, there is increasing evidence that it’s making those red states bluer, and most of the demographic trends are heading in Democrats’ direction.

Economic Effect of Oregon's Renewable Portfolio Standard
Feeling all green and fuzzy by sticking it to the poorer folks. ~Bob. Excerpt: In 2007, Oregon passed Senate Bill 838 (SB 838) which established a state renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The RPS mandates large utilities (those providing 3 percent or more of the state's electricity load) to supply a minimum percentage of electricity sold to retail customers derived from new renewable resources. Specifically, SB 838 requires that Oregon's public electric utilities increase the percentage of electricity generated from new renewable energy sources, say researchers at the Cascade Policy Institute and the Beacon Hill Institute. Since renewable energy generally costs more than conventional energy, many have voiced concerns about higher electricity rates. Moreover, since Oregon has a limited ability to generate new renewable energy, the state will start from a low power generation base. In addition, some renewable energy sources (wind and solar power in particular) require the installation of conventional backup generation capacity for cloudy, windless days. The need for this backup further boosts the cost of renewable energy. In the aggregate, the state's electricity consumers will pay $992 million in 2025. Oregon's electricity prices will increase by an average of 1.73 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), or 23.9 percent, in 2025. By 2025 the Oregon economy will lose an average of 17,530 jobs, within a range of between 10,025 jobs under the low-cost scenario and 24,630 jobs under the high-cost scenario. In 2025, the RPS mandate will reduce annual wages by an average of $275 per worker, within a range of between $157 per worker $385 per worker.

EPA Case for Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Torn Apart by New Study
Funny how government planners never tire of sticking their fingers in, even though the results are often disastrous. ~Bob. Excerpt: Washington, D.C., March 21, 2011- The Environmental Protection Agency is relying on accounting tricks and gimmicks in its claims that clamping down on greenhouse gas emissions will produce more financial benefit than harm. That’s the finding of a new Competitive Enterprise Institute report, “Clearing the Air on the EPA's False Regulatory Benefit-Cost Estimates and Its Anti-Carbon Agenda,” by Garrett A. Vaughn, an independent economic consultant specializing in energy and the environment. The EPA is poised to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, in a vast and costly expanse of the agency’s regulatory reach. Vaughn takes apart the EPA’s case for such action.

Freedom Means Faster Growth
Would someone please tell Barack? ~Bob. Excerpt: How do we measure economic freedom, and how relevant is it for economic growth? Some answers come from Economic Freedom of the States of India 2011, a report just brought out by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation , Cato Institute and Indicus Analytics. The report shows that measuring economic freedom at the state level is a difficult and inexact exercise, given data limitations. More important than the absolute freedom ranking of any state can be a change in rankings, showing whether economic freedom is improving or worsening over the last five years. While economic freedom can only be one of many factors that influence economic growth, the big picture emerging from the data is that, by and large, states with increasing freedom are growing faster, and those with worsening freedom are growing slower.

Mark Steyn: Circles of Hell
Excerpt: As I said in my post, there are circles of depravity: The relatively small number of people willing to decapitate a baby; the larger number of Palestinians happy to celebrate the decapitation of a baby; and the massed ranks of Western media anxious to obscure the truth about the nature of the event. The comments below Miss Bagshawe’s column provide a glimpse of a fourth circle — the large numbers of Westerners who, even when confronted with the reality of what happened, are nevertheless eager to rationalize it as a legitimate response to a legitimate grievance.

Police: Woman Hid 54 Bags of Heroin, Money in Her Vagina
Excerpt: Authorities in Pennsylvania arrested a 27-year-old woman who they say hid more than 100 items -- including 54 bags of heroin and loose change -- in her vagina. Investigators took Karin Mackaliunas into custody last weekend after she was involved in a motor vehicle crash, according to police in Scranton. Officers in nearby Dunmore heard about the accident and, suspecting that she had been involved in the recent burglary of a local inn, asked Scranton police to detain Mackaliunas for questioning.

International Red Cross Sheltering Hamas Terrorist Officials In Jerusalem
Excerpt: Although Hamas's main headquarters can be found in Gaza and Damascus, over the past several months, three officials from the terror group have also set up shop at the International Red Cross office in East Jerusalem. Israel suspects these three Hamas legislators had a role in the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It ordered them to be deported from Jerusalem last summer. Instead, the three found refuge at the Red Cross, where they've set up a tent and held court on a daily basis, with no protest from their hosts. The three Hamas officials have been living there since July.

Obama Ignoring 'Spiral of Silence' shroud on Costa Rica
Excerpt: “The Calero Island, located along the San Juan River, in the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, was invaded in November, 2010 by Nicaraguan troops, in what constitutes an unreasonable aggression protected by an almost complete “spiral of silence” from media vehicles throughout the Americas.” (americasalert@yahoogroups.com, March 21, 2011). “The territory at stake is no bigger than a few tens of square kilometers. But the upsetting of international legal principles acquired a symbolic meaning that went far beyond the geographical extension of the invaded territory and the very scope of those two noble and so closely related Central American people—the Nicaraguan and the Costa Rican—each of whom having a historical symbolism of its own.

UK: Police 'Could Have Acted Earlier' To Stop Murder of Man Whose Severed Thumb Was Dropped From The Sky By A Bird
You can’t blame the police. If they take action against a Muslim before a murder is committed, they get career-ending charges of Islamophobia. See: Hasan, Nidal. ~Bob. Excerpt: Killer Mohammed Riaz could have been arrested before murdering his bother-in-law if two police forces had made more effort, a watchdog said. Riaz was arrested on March 11 last year, the day after the Mahmood Ahmad's left thumb was caught on CCTV falling to the ground in Ilford, Essex, where it was found by a security guard. Riaz, 33, was yesterday found guilty of murdering Mr Ahmad and will be sentenced on Monday. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has since criticised the Metropolitan Police and Nottinghamshire Police for not thoroughly investigating complaints that Riaz was terrifying his wife Nahid Ahmad and harassing her sister. Riaz, who had a history of bullying and abusing his wife Nahid Ahmad, had kidnapped her brother from outside his home in Watford in an attempt to learn his wife's whereabouts.

Courageous Teller Asks Bank Robber For Two Forms Of ID
Excerpt: A Dallas Wells Fargo bank teller risked her life and thousands of dollars on a bet that a robber at her window would be stupid enough to comply with her request that he show two forms of identification. But sure enough, her bet paid off! The robber, 49-year-old Nathan Wayne Pugh of Sachse, Texas, actually took the time to search through his pockets and wallet to produce the IDs -- which turned out to be his Wells Fargo debit card and a state ID card. Then the teller stalled even more by very slowly copying the information.

Donald Trump's Birth Certificate Strategy
Excerpt: Republican pollster John McLaughlin agrees that Trump’s remarks may be part of a larger, and potentially effective, campaign strategy. “Just like Obama won the nomination as the most anti-Bush candidate, the Republican nomination is going to be won by the most anti-Obama candidate,” McLaughlin said. “He’s positioning himself to be the most aggressive candidate against Obama. If you want to win a primary that’s the way you win a primary.” (I can’t say I’d be happy with Trump as the GOP nominee. More ego that brains. ~Bob.)

The Huffington Post Bans Andrew Brietbart From The Front Page After Comments About Van Jones
Excerpt: Breitbart told TheDC, “I have the exact opposite view on free speech that these left-wing freaks at Color of Change have: More voices, not less.” He went on to call Van Jones, a former White House adviser and co-founder of Color of Change “a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak. And a commie. And an eco-fraudster.” Jones resigned from his position in the Obama administration following a series of embarrassing revelations, including that he had once signed a 9-11 “truther” petition.

Why I'm Quitting Blogging At The Huffington Post
Excerpt: One very loathsome aspect of this story is something that Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff told me in a long phone call about Andrew Breitbart several months ago. Roy knows and worked with Andrew and when the issue of Andrew Breitbart being a racist came up, Roy told me “No, of course Andrew isn’t a racist.” Roy went on to say that while both he and Arianna Huffington knew that the charges of racism being hurled at Andrew weren’t true based on their years of personal dealings with him that they were in a ‘bad position’ to say anything about it. Politics is a contact sport, but not defending someone you know personally and know the truth about is pretty poor conduct. To stand by and watch their reputation ruined and do nothing when all you have to do is say ‘I know him and that’s not true” is shameful. It is true that low level exposure to many hazards is actually good for human beings, starting with kids who play outside and get dirty. It's also true that for many substances, a poison is defined by the amount taken in; for instance, we need water, salt, and oxygen to live, but overwhelming amounts of any of those will result in the subject's death. No potassium in our blood means the heart stops working, but too much potassium and the heart stops. The possibility that low level exposure to radiation may trigger a response in the immune system that will make it more effective against cancer cells, and thereby reduce the incidence of cancer in people exposed that way, can't be denied offhand. The data that are quoted below indicate it may be a strong possibility, in fact, a significant probability. Studies could be under taken with animals to check this out, but right now no one is proposing that.

A Glowing Report on Radiation
I ran this before, but wanted to include Del’s comments. ~Bob. Excerpt: With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer. This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however, burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine. (When this column appeared, Coulter was instantly attacked by assorted Liberal pundits for being crazy and supposedly trying to put a good face on a tragic event. However, over the past years Liberals have enthusiastically supported the dangers of overpopulation causing massive starvation across the world (supposed to have happened well before the year 2000), the approaching ice age (also now long overdue), the ban on DDT (which turns out to not be remotely as toxic as claimed, and the nonuse of which has caused millions of unnecessary deaths from malaria), and even a panic against the use of a chemical (Alar) for fruit ripening that turned out to be harmless and has been used by Europeans ever since. (We'll just skip the whole Anthropomorphic Global Warming thing for now.) Apparently good science is that which is approved by expert scientists like Al Gore, Meryl Streep, and assorted others famous for their skills as entertainers and otherwise public figures. Me, I'm just a guy with a couple of degrees in Chemistry and a lot of practice using Statistics, and some weird notions about evaluating data objectively and only drawing conclusions which are well supported by data that can be shown to be both appropriately gathered (that's a real trick sometimes) and compelling in rigorous analysis. So I can say that what Coulter says here could well be valid, and we can all hope that it is. Time will tell. -Del)

Obama’s Anti-Drilling Agenda Costs Jobs Across America
Excerpt: President Obama’s hometown of Chicago is nearly 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. But like many other communities across the country, it is suffering the consequences of his Administration’s anti-drilling agenda. Illinois accounted for $376.2 million in shallow-water drilling expenditures over the past three years, according to an analysis by 14 oil and gas companies that spend money on vendors and subcontractors. The bulk of that money—$242.2 million—was spent in the Chicago district represented by Representative Danny Davis (D–IL). It’s fresh evidence that Obama’s anti-drilling agenda is having a ripple effect across America since last year’s oil spill, claiming jobs not just in Louisiana and Texas but also in communities far removed from the shipyards in the Gulf of Mexico.

Stealth-And-Trade (EPA funding political groups)
Excerpt: Green Corruption: The Environmental Protection Agency is giving funds to charitable organizations to attack GOP members of Congress. Did you know telling the truth about climate change causes childhood asthma? We have heard the litany of horrors that climate change is said to bring about — retreating glaciers, rising sea levels, drought and flooding, disease and famine. Now we are told that fighting the EPA's power grab to regulate greenhouse gases will lead to an increase in childhood asthma. The American Lung Association, considered one of America's most credible and worthy charities, has placed four billboards in Michigan's 6th Congressional District — including one outside the office of Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee — that feature a sickly looking girl with an oxygen mask and read, "Rep. Fred Upton, protect our kids' health. Don't weaken the Clean Air Act." But what Upton and the Republican House majority that most voters elected in November are trying to do is restore the Clean Air Act to its true meaning and congressional intent.

Caught Red-Handed
Excerpt: Freedom's Enemies: A collaborator of the Rosenbergs admits his previously unknown Soviet espionage more than 60 years after the fact. It's just the latest revelation that the anti-communists of that era were right. The "innocent victims" of the Red Scare were once legion — like suave U.S. envoy Alger Hiss, who doubled as a Soviet spy chief, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who gave Moscow A-bomb plans. The latest debunking of this myth is Rosenberg fellow spy Morton Sobell, who finally admitted it in 2008. But in a December interview with Ronald Radosh and Steven Usdin, Sobell, 93, added that he gave hundreds of secret Air Force documents to the Soviets in 1948. Sobell also fingered William Perl, who had been attending the City College of New York with Sobell and Julius Rosenberg, and worked at a Virginia Army air base during World War II. Perl had denied wrongdoing, but was convicted of perjury in 1953.

Exposures and progress at Fukushima Daiichi
Excerpt: Three contractors were installing cables in the first floor and basement of the turbine building of unit 3, having to standing in water that resulted in exposures of around 170 millisieverts to the skin on their legs. Two have been taken to hospital. The dose is higher than a commonly accepted value of 100 millisieverts for nuclear workers in an emergency situation, but less than the 250 millisieverts temporarily allowed by Japanese authorities. The World Health Organisation, however, said that a limit of 500 millisiverts is an international standard for emergency work. (Here in the US, we don’t normally think of electrical workers as “heroes,” but these guys qualify. It’s hard to get a sense of proportion from the MSM. Associated Press is reporting “a possible breach of the core” (go for the shock! then add), or maybe it’s a leaky pipe, or radiation from the continuing venting to relieve pressure. That’s like a doctor telling you every wart you have could be a sign of cancer; while technically true, it gives no sense of proportion or likeliness. --Ron P. I can’t die from cancer—I have too much time and trouble invested in my IPF! ~Bob.)

John Wayne at the Alamo on a Republic and Freedom

Why Would We Expect Kids of Illegal Immigrants to Love America?
excerpt: As per usual, when liberals hear something that challenges them or makes them uncomfortable, they reflexively try to shut down the discussion: An Arizona state senator has set off a hot debate over racism and taxpayer-funded education of illegal immigrants with her public reading of a constituent letter that said most Hispanic students “hate America.” “Most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters,” said State Sen. Lori Klein on the chamber floor Friday, quoting from a letter by a Phoenix-area substitute public school teacher sent to Senate President Russell Pearce. “They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico.”

Worth Reading: Good Writing Needs a Tiger Mom
Excerpt: We're moving swiftly into post-literate America, and more's the pity. Many of us can't write a coherent, straightforward, easy-to-read sentence. Nobody but a Tiger mother seems interested in teaching her cubs how to write clearly. The ubiquitous e-mail message had just about done the language in, and then came texting and Twittering, with its abbreviations and inane speech conventions. OMG, soon we'll all have sore thumbs and speak only a version of pidgin. (One of the things I have noticed within the academic/engineering circle I now am involved in is how the ability to write well separates the men from the boys in terms of professional success. An engineer who cannot articulate his work stands far behind one who can. I saw this same thing at the Pentagon. –Greg.)

Confidence in Obama at Rock Bottom
The worse news is that the optimistic folks are the ones not paying attention. ~bob. Excerpt: Only one in five likely voters believes our country is “heading in the right direction.” That’s the rock-bottom level of confidence since Barack Obama became President in January 2009. At the same time, the number of voters who think America’s best days lie ahead now is “at its lowest point in 17 months.” And 27 percent think the economy will be even weaker in five years. This downcast view of our future was determined in Rasmussen Reports polls March 16, 18, and 22. Those findings preceded another March 22 survey showing the Obama Administration’s rampant spending is likely largely responsible for voters’ loss of faith in the course the nation is taking. You can add to the uncertainty Obama’s bizarre energy policy to squelch oil production and his puzzling foreign policies. These opinion data, gathered by what may be the country’s most accurate and respected opinion-polling operation, comes at a time when Congress is engaged in a wrestling match of ideologies as to how and how much to plug the federal spending gusher.

Excerpt: Back in 2007, Frank Lautenberg voted to expand the right of habeas corpus to foreign citizens detained overseas in the war on terror. In other words, if you are a terrorist, Frank Lautenberg thinks you are not getting all the Constitutional rights you deserve and he is going to do everything he can to make sure you get them. However, if you are a United States citizen who has not committed any crime whatsoever, apart from opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, Frank Lautenberg believes you deserve no Constitutional rights at all.

Iranian minister gives insight to Islam
Excerpt: Shahram Hadian's family left Iran in 1978, when he was 7. Soon after the family's departure, an Islamic Revolution swept the country, eventually imposing strict Islamic law known as Shari'ah Law. Hadian, raised Muslim but now a Christian minister in Everett told about 100 people Monday at the Benton PUD auditorium in Kennewick how he sees those same changes taking place throughout the world, including in America.

Off to Mecca with Eric Holder's Blessing
Message to employers from Eric Holder: You can avoid the DOJ forcing you to give employees three weeks leave at a critical time by not hiring Muslims. ~Bob. Excerpt: Here are the facts: Safoorah Kahn, 29, was hired to teach middle school math in November 2007. According to her lawyer, she was happy in her job, which included preparing sixth- through eighth-graders for state tests, and running the "math lab." After nine months on the job, Kahn requested a three-week leave of absence in order to perform the hajj -- the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are obliged to undertake at least once in their lives if they can afford it. Employers are required by law to honor requests for religious accommodations provided that they do not impose "undue hardship" on the employer or other employees. Berkeley officials maintained that a three-week absence in December -- which would have denied the school its only math lab instructor right before exams -- was unreasonable and was not covered by the teachers' union contract. They denied her request. Kahn decided to make the trip anyway and submitted her resignation.

Excerpt: As a general rule, New York Times editorials have an inverse relation ship to reality. The harder they bang on an issue, the more you can be certain they are wrong. So it is with Gov. Cuomo's plan to limit "pain and suffering" awards to $250,000 in medical-malpractice cases. The Times accuses Cuomo and hospitals of bad faith, and claims the plan will "punish patients badly injured by medical negligence." It demands a "debate . . . that includes legal experts and patients' advocates." Oh, yes, the "legal experts," especially those who double as members of the Legislature. Perhaps that well-known "patient advocate," Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, of Weitz & Luxenberg employ, could join the debate.

Gianna Jessen gives amazing speech in Australia
Excerpt: I was first introduced to Gianna Jessen on Hannity and Colmes in the 2008 elections as she came on their show to do battle against Obama. For those of you who’ve never heard of Jessen, she was aborted by saline solution yet she was born alive and thanks to her abortionist not being present, they cared for her. Because of the lack of oxygen to her brain from the saline burn, she now has Cerebral Palsy but she wears that as a jewel in her crown.

Do you approve of the job Gov. Walker is doing?
Vote & pass it on. ~Bob.

Violent Jihad Kills Muslims, 'Islamophobia' Does Not
Excerpt: Putting aside the question of whether they care a whit about non-Muslims, have Islamist pressure groups and their leftist helpers considered how terrorism impacts Muslims' lives? As they peddle the trumped-up threat of "Islamophobia," actual Islamist terrorism is murdering actual Muslims, both globally and domestically: Muslims comprised 85% of al-Qaeda's victims from 2004 to 2008, numerous innocent Muslims like Hamdani died on 9/11, and the March 10 testimony of Abdirizak Bihi, whose nephew had been radicalized in the U.S. and killed while on jihad in Somalia, illuminated yet another path by which Islamism snuffs out the lives of Muslims. What about "Islamophobia"? Though Islamists and their allies depict bigotry as a veritable life-or-death matter for American Muslims, the data say otherwise. Indeed, online FBI hate crime statistics, spanning 1996 to 2009, record not even a single Muslim dying due to an anti-Islamic incident in the United States. Islamist terrorism kills Muslims; "Islamophobia" does not.

A euro collapse will harm U.S. economy more than Japan's disaster
The collapse is gathering steam. At this rate, it is progressing faster than my IPF, so I may get to see it. ~Bib. Excerpt: It's not the Japanese catastrophe that might threaten the American economic recovery, it's Europe. On Wednesday, Portugal's parliament rejected government-proposed austerity measures, Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned, and now Portugal almost certainly will need a bailout. America's economy may be dragged into Europe's approaching cataclysm. Not only will America be called on to bail out Europe's debts, but Europeans will have to cut back purchases of American exports. American Enterprise Institute fellow Desmond Lachman told me Thursday, "The fall of the Portuguese government could not have occurred at a worse time, coming as it does on the eve of a European summit which was supposed to announce a grand bargain as a solution to Europe's ills."

A Nation of Dropouts Shakes Europe
Where statism takes you. ~Bob. Excerpt: Portugal is the poorest country in Western Europe. It is also the least educated, and that has emerged as a painful liability in its gathering economic crisis. Wednesday night, the economic crisis became a political crisis. Portugal's parliament rejected Prime Minister José Sócrates's plan for spending cuts and tax increases. Mr. Sócrates handed in his resignation. He will hang on as a caretaker until a new government is formed. Without the budget cuts, Portugal is almost certain to need an international bailout. It will run out of money this year without fresh cash, and markets are charging punitive rates for borrowing. Two firms downgraded Portugal's credit rating Thursday…. Cheap rote labor that once sustained Portugal's textile industry has vanished to Asia. The former Eastern Bloc countries that joined the European Union en masse in 2004 offer lower wages and workers with more schooling. They have sucked skilled jobs away. Just 28% of the Portuguese population between 25 and 64 has completed high school. The figure is 85% in Germany, 91% in the Czech Republic and 89% in the U.S. (Perhaps the morons in the US Congress, Republican, Democrat, Libertarians, and Socialists (Vermont) had better realize the implication for USA. Fast forward three to five years and this is what we are looking at: a workforce capable of nothing other than lawn care. Democrats have ordered our borders to the south to remain open---the result is that we have all the landscapers we will need for the foreseeable future---ergo, the 40 million Americans out of work or incapable of being employed will lay around and smoke dope and drink wine---just like the folks in Portugal!!! --Tom C. USMC (Ret.)

Good graphic on the fiscal crisis & public unions

CBO Sees Benefits in Taxing Motorists Based on Miles Driven
Excerpt: While raising fuel taxes would bring in more money, the CBO notes that a "fundamental" problem would remain: "By themselves, fuel taxes cannot provide a strong incentive for people to avoid overusing highways," the report said. On the other hand, VMT taxes would have most motorists paying "substantially more than they do now -- perhaps several times more," the report said. "Such a system would maximize the efficiency of highway use by discouraging trips for which costs exceed benefits." (...) The CBO prepared the study at the request of the Senate Budget Committee. (The headline is an exaggeration. The CBO merely reported as requested; by law, they are forbidden from making policy recommendations. Thus, “someone else”—I wonder who—sees “benefits." Also, notice this report was requested by the party of beancounters. Ron P.)

Hispanic boom will strengthen America, not weaken it
Excerpt: Like the descendants of their German, Italian, Polish, and other immigrant predecessors, Hispanics have adopted English as their primary -- indeed, for most third-generation Hispanics, only -- language. They eventually catch up in earnings and other indicators of social integration, though they still lag in completion of college degrees. As a point of reference, it took Italian-Americans six decades from their point of peak immigration to catch up with other groups in education attainment. And in the ultimate test of assimilation, Hispanics actually intermarry at higher rates than their European counterparts did at a similar point in their history in the U.S. If this pattern continues, the increase in the size of the Hispanic population will have no more disruptive effect on the character of the American population than did the absorption of millions of Southern and Eastern Europeans early in the 20th century. But, as occurred then, a large and growing backlash against this demographic shift is taking place now. (Given our falling birth rate, America needs more citizens of Hispanic ancestry who want to be Americans and assimilate into American culture. We need to bar those who want to be Mexicans in exile and bring their failed culture here, supported by the welfare state. But state-depended poor are the bread and butter of Democrat politicians. ~Bob.)

Former Clinton Official Paid $26 Million by Fannie Mae Before Taxpayer Bailout Now on Obama Shortlist to Run FBI
The Obama Administration is like a cesspool—the big chunks always rise to the top. ~Bob. Excerpt: Jamie Gorelick, a former Clinton administration official who reportedly has made the Obama administration's short list to become the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was paid more than $26 million in total compensation as a top executive at Fannie Mae--before taxpayers had to bail out the mortgage giant. Gorelick, who left the Clinton Justice Department in 1997 to work for Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, was paid $26,466,834 in salary, bonuses, performance pay and stock options from 1998 to 2003…. In a 1995 Justice Department memo, written when she was deputy attorney general, Kagan prescribed a policy for limiting the flow of information between intelligence gatherers and criminal investigators within the Justice Department. In the memo, “Instructions on Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal Investigations,” Gorelick set out guidelines for concurrent investigations into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing by both criminal investigators and intelligence officers within the Department of Justice. Rules stemming from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), under which the intelligence community was operating as part of its investigation, stipulates that information may only be gathered by way of surveillance for the primary purpose of intelligence, not to contribute to a criminal case under which defendants have more constitutional protections.

In major cuts, Gov. Jerry Brown slashes services for poor, sick and elderly
Excerpt: Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars in budget cuts Thursday that will mean fewer government services, particularly for the old, the poor and the sick. (Doesn’t appear to have gone after the SEIU, so probably no riots. ~Bob.)

Immigrant killed by deputy had troubled past
Excerpt: When Felipe Ramirez Castellanos stood in front of an immigration judge in Arizona last April, the end of his time in the U.S. must have seemed near. With an immigration history that included arrest for human smuggling and a denied visa application, Castellanos was brought before the judge after a traffic stop in Pinal County. Without money to pay the $7,500 bond, some combination of prison and deportation was likely on the horizon. Instead, Castellanos walked out of the courtroom pending a removal hearing that never occurred. Within nine months, Castellanos was dead, shot at close range by a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy in front of the east Mesa home Castellanos shared with his family. (Keep in mind, this is written in the Illegal-Alien-Friendly Arizona Republic. –DH.)


--
Robert A. Hall
I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

Resources
For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

War: Obama's fatal attraction
Excerpt: Instead, we elected Barack Obama, who firmly rejected military action for purely humanitarian reasons. In his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq war, Obama insisted that though Saddam Hussein "butchers his own people to secure his own power," the war was unjustified. Hussein, he pointed out, "poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors" and "can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history." In 2008, we saw debates between Obama and his rival contenders. Now we are seeing a debate between Obama the Candidate and Obama the President.

NATO to take over no-fly zone
Excerpt: NATO countries have agreed to take over enforcement of the no-fly zone above Libya, U.S. and NATO officials said Thursday. (And the Military Commander of NATO is…Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James G. Stavridis, United States Navy. NATO has had the command in Afghanistan for a long time, but that hasn’t seemed to lessen the US role or reduce the time of the “kinetic military action” there. Of course, that Cowboy Bush” got approval of the US Congress before going into Iraq and Afghanistan. How quaint. ~Bob.)

As a military superpower, the US is finding it hard to pass off lead role on Libya to others
Excerpt: For decades, the United States has been the go-to power for other Western nations for leading international military endeavors. Now it is struggling to shed that image as it tries to dial back its role in confronting Libya, but it’s been a rocky path. Each passing day is drawing the Pentagon deeper and deeper into the ground battle in Libya against the forces of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. This was driven home when NATO agreed late Thursday to take over just part of the military operations against Libya — enforcement of the newly established no-fly zone, following days of discord and hard bargaining among its members.

To some in Libya, ‘Brother Leader’ Gaddafi still a hero
What? Libyans are opposing the CNN-anointed “brave freedom fighters”? Bomb them! Civilians too! Barack has said he must go, and if we have to kill every pro-Gaddafi citizen, that we will do! (Hint to the media—try to not have any photographers present when the cute kid in the picture gets it. Disturbs the narrative.) ~Bob. Excerpt: How deep that support runs in a populace that has been governed by fear for decades is impossible to tell. But six days into the allied bombardment of Libyan military targets, it is clear that Gaddafi can count on the fierce loyalties of at least a significant segment of the population in the vast stretches that lie beyond the enclave of rebel-held territory in the east.

Excerpt: So the air war in Libya is not actually a war, according to the White House: It's "kinetic military action," or a "time-limited, scope-limited military intervention." Hmm. That kind of sounds like a type of war, doesn't it? The striking thing about the debate over Libya is that almost no one who doesn't actually work for the Obama administration seems to be defending their actions without any reservations; even supporters add caveats. Nick Kristof celebrates the accomplishment in Benghazi, where a bloodbath was averted when allied fighters took out dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers enroute to Libya's rebel-held second city. This is indeed something to celebrate, and Americans ought to be proud of the role our airmen, sailors, and Marines have played in averting a humanitarian disaster (for now). But even Kristof concedes "that there are enormous uncertainties: Can the rebels now topple Colonel Qaddafi? What's the exit strategy? How much will this cost?"

Antiwar Senator, War-Powers President
Excerpt: President Barack Obama has again flip-flopped on national security—and we can all be grateful. Having kept Guantanamo Bay open, resumed military commission trials for terrorists, and expanded the use of drones, the president has now ordered the U.S. military into action without Congress's blessing. Imagine the uproar if President Bush had unilaterally launched air attacks against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. But since it's Mr. Obama's finger on the trigger, Democratic leaders in Congress have kept quiet—demonstrating that their opposition to presidential power during the Bush years was political, not principled.

Obama avoiding major Libya address
The “Leader,” Barack “I am the ditherer” Obama waits for the path to become clearer, before speaking to the little people. ~Bob. Excerpt: President Barack Obama is resisting pressure to deliver an Oval Office speech explaining his policy on Libya — in part, because he doesn’t want to equate what he regards as a smaller, time-limited mission with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Administration officials haven’t ruled out a big speech, but Obama is reluctant to make a major address on Libya until the United States hands over most command and combat duties to its allies. That’s not to say the president won’t talk about Libya over the next few days, aides say, but he’s not likely to succumb to pressure to deliver a long, explanatory address to outline his elusive endgame to the nation until the path ahead becomes clearer.

The Benghazi rebellion in East Libya is shameful
Can’t be true—CNN calls them “brave freedom fighters.” ~Bob. Excerpt: The murder and rape of Black African migrants in Benghazi (East Libya) reduces the value of anti-Qaddafi rebels' claim to justice.

NH Supreme Court: homeschooled girl must go to public school against mom’s wishes
Excerpt: Because no harm was demonstrated and the girl was acknowledged to be academically superior and socially interactive, even by the court, Simmons argued that the homeschooling arrangement should not have been changed. However, in the original order issued in July 2009, Judge Lucinda V. Sadler reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.”

VIDEO: Herman Cain Remembers Segregation
Excerpt: Believe it or not, believe it or not, Cain’s team had to put this video out in order to debunk the insane claim from some on the left that … Cain supported segregation. Matt Lewis asked him a question during an interview about his memories of Jim Crow and he answered with a story about him and his brother as kids sneaking a drink from a “whites only” water fountain and comparing it to the water in a “coloreds only” fountain. The lesson Cain learned: “The water tastes the same! What’s the big deal

San Francisco Becomes A Child-Free Zone As Youth Population Declines http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/03/san-francisco-becoming-child-free-zone-youth-population-declines
Support Abortion and Birth Control—they kill off more liberals and Democrats. ~Bob. Excerpt: Despite efforts to stem the tide of family flight, the population of children in San Francisco continues to ebb. Families that remain in The City are bucking the trend that has plagued San Francisco for years as the number of children — defined as people up to 17 years old — has dropped from 181,532 in 1960 to 107,524 today, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures. The 2000 census counted 112,802 youths. The decrease is disappointing news for city officials, who have attempted to counter the family-flight trend by creating more affordable housing, improving schools and cutting costs, such as a college savings account for kindergarten enrollees.

Former Marine Foils Attempted Smuggling of 13 Illegal Immigrants in Military Uniforms
Excerpt: An alert plainclothes U.S. Border Patrol agent who previously served in the Marine Corps foiled a brazen attempt by 13 illegal immigrants and two suspected U.S. smugglers to enter the United States by asking the driver a simple question that every Leatherneck knows: When is the Marine Corps' birthday? On Nov. 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress, according to the U.S. Marines' website. Formal recognition of the event, however, did not occur until 1921. Prior to that year, it's unclear whether any celebration was held. But every Marine is taught to remember that historic date -- and the incorrect answer tipped off Border Patrol agents at the Campo Border Patrol Westbound I-8 checkpoint on March 14 near Pine Valley, Calif.

Saudi Tanks Roll Where Obama Fears To Tread
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia is the last country an American should respect, having spawned fifteen of the nineteen 9-11 murderers and continuing to fund and spew hate-filled, anti-Western, anti-Semitic Wahhabi-inspired propaganda everywhere in the world. But however grudgingly, we must tip our hats to a country with a coherent foreign policy that uses its military -- unilaterally and unapologetically -- to defend its interests and allies against real or perceived threats. Hence we might almost applaud as Saudi tanks boldly rolled through the streets of Shia-dominated Bahrain to guard its Sunni monarch and staunch Saudi ally King al-Khalifa against potential overthrow by Iranian-backed street mobs. Behaving like a superpower concerned about its survival and willing to defend its friends, Saudi Arabia sent dozens of tanks via the King Fahd causeway into neighboring Bahrain.  King al-Khalifa thanked the Saudis profusely, clearly unconcerned about the opinion of the international community as the Saudi contingent crossed into Bahrain without permission from the Arab League or the sanction from a UN Security Council plebiscite.

Michigan first to act as states weigh reductions in unemployment benefits
What? The money’s gone? Alert the rioters! ~Bob. Excerpt: Michigan moved Thursday to significantly cut its unemployment program, becoming the first of what could be a flurry of debt-laden states to reduce aid even as high jobless rates persist. The Michigan measure reduces the maximum period a person can receive state unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks, the lowest in the nation, officials said. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) indicated Thursday that he would sign the bill. The state’s economic troubles, aggravated by the recession and its shrinking manufacturing base, have turned Michigan into a bellwether of bust. Its unemployment rate stands at 10.7 percent — one of the worst in the country.

The GOP’s Census problem
Elect Republicans—it will delay the collapse by a year or two. Maybe. ~Bob. Excerpt: When the Census released its reapportionment totals in December, much of the focus was on the new seats in red states, and how it was a good thing for Republicans. The data released by Census on Thursday, though, shows how those same population shifts are creating new challenges for the GOP. While much of the shifting population is moving to red states, there is increasing evidence that it’s making those red states bluer, and most of the demographic trends are heading in Democrats’ direction.

Economic Effect of Oregon's Renewable Portfolio Standard
Feeling all green and fuzzy by sticking it to the poorer folks. ~Bob. Excerpt: In 2007, Oregon passed Senate Bill 838 (SB 838) which established a state renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The RPS mandates large utilities (those providing 3 percent or more of the state's electricity load) to supply a minimum percentage of electricity sold to retail customers derived from new renewable resources. Specifically, SB 838 requires that Oregon's public electric utilities increase the percentage of electricity generated from new renewable energy sources, say researchers at the Cascade Policy Institute and the Beacon Hill Institute. Since renewable energy generally costs more than conventional energy, many have voiced concerns about higher electricity rates. Moreover, since Oregon has a limited ability to generate new renewable energy, the state will start from a low power generation base. In addition, some renewable energy sources (wind and solar power in particular) require the installation of conventional backup generation capacity for cloudy, windless days. The need for this backup further boosts the cost of renewable energy. In the aggregate, the state's electricity consumers will pay $992 million in 2025. Oregon's electricity prices will increase by an average of 1.73 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), or 23.9 percent, in 2025. By 2025 the Oregon economy will lose an average of 17,530 jobs, within a range of between 10,025 jobs under the low-cost scenario and 24,630 jobs under the high-cost scenario. In 2025, the RPS mandate will reduce annual wages by an average of $275 per worker, within a range of between $157 per worker $385 per worker.

EPA Case for Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Torn Apart by New Study
Funny how government planners never tire of sticking their fingers in, even though the results are often disastrous. ~Bob. Excerpt: Washington, D.C., March 21, 2011- The Environmental Protection Agency is relying on accounting tricks and gimmicks in its claims that clamping down on greenhouse gas emissions will produce more financial benefit than harm. That’s the finding of a new Competitive Enterprise Institute report, “Clearing the Air on the EPA's False Regulatory Benefit-Cost Estimates and Its Anti-Carbon Agenda,” by Garrett A. Vaughn, an independent economic consultant specializing in energy and the environment. The EPA is poised to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, in a vast and costly expanse of the agency’s regulatory reach. Vaughn takes apart the EPA’s case for such action.

Freedom Means Faster Growth
Would someone please tell Barack? ~Bob. Excerpt: How do we measure economic freedom, and how relevant is it for economic growth? Some answers come from Economic Freedom of the States of India 2011, a report just brought out by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation , Cato Institute and Indicus Analytics. The report shows that measuring economic freedom at the state level is a difficult and inexact exercise, given data limitations. More important than the absolute freedom ranking of any state can be a change in rankings, showing whether economic freedom is improving or worsening over the last five years. While economic freedom can only be one of many factors that influence economic growth, the big picture emerging from the data is that, by and large, states with increasing freedom are growing faster, and those with worsening freedom are growing slower.

Mark Steyn: Circles of Hell
Excerpt: As I said in my post, there are circles of depravity: The relatively small number of people willing to decapitate a baby; the larger number of Palestinians happy to celebrate the decapitation of a baby; and the massed ranks of Western media anxious to obscure the truth about the nature of the event. The comments below Miss Bagshawe’s column provide a glimpse of a fourth circle — the large numbers of Westerners who, even when confronted with the reality of what happened, are nevertheless eager to rationalize it as a legitimate response to a legitimate grievance.

Police: Woman Hid 54 Bags of Heroin, Money in Her Vagina
Excerpt: Authorities in Pennsylvania arrested a 27-year-old woman who they say hid more than 100 items -- including 54 bags of heroin and loose change -- in her vagina. Investigators took Karin Mackaliunas into custody last weekend after she was involved in a motor vehicle crash, according to police in Scranton. Officers in nearby Dunmore heard about the accident and, suspecting that she had been involved in the recent burglary of a local inn, asked Scranton police to detain Mackaliunas for questioning.

International Red Cross Sheltering Hamas Terrorist Officials In Jerusalem
Excerpt: Although Hamas's main headquarters can be found in Gaza and Damascus, over the past several months, three officials from the terror group have also set up shop at the International Red Cross office in East Jerusalem. Israel suspects these three Hamas legislators had a role in the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It ordered them to be deported from Jerusalem last summer. Instead, the three found refuge at the Red Cross, where they've set up a tent and held court on a daily basis, with no protest from their hosts. The three Hamas officials have been living there since July.

Obama Ignoring 'Spiral of Silence' shroud on Costa Rica
Excerpt: “The Calero Island, located along the San Juan River, in the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, was invaded in November, 2010 by Nicaraguan troops, in what constitutes an unreasonable aggression protected by an almost complete “spiral of silence” from media vehicles throughout the Americas.” (americasalert@yahoogroups.com, March 21, 2011). “The territory at stake is no bigger than a few tens of square kilometers. But the upsetting of international legal principles acquired a symbolic meaning that went far beyond the geographical extension of the invaded territory and the very scope of those two noble and so closely related Central American people—the Nicaraguan and the Costa Rican—each of whom having a historical symbolism of its own.

UK: Police 'Could Have Acted Earlier' To Stop Murder of Man Whose Severed Thumb Was Dropped From The Sky By A Bird
You can’t blame the police. If they take action against a Muslim before a murder is committed, they get career-ending charges of Islamophobia. See: Hasan, Nidal. ~Bob. Excerpt: Killer Mohammed Riaz could have been arrested before murdering his bother-in-law if two police forces had made more effort, a watchdog said. Riaz was arrested on March 11 last year, the day after the Mahmood Ahmad's left thumb was caught on CCTV falling to the ground in Ilford, Essex, where it was found by a security guard. Riaz, 33, was yesterday found guilty of murdering Mr Ahmad and will be sentenced on Monday. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has since criticised the Metropolitan Police and Nottinghamshire Police for not thoroughly investigating complaints that Riaz was terrifying his wife Nahid Ahmad and harassing her sister. Riaz, who had a history of bullying and abusing his wife Nahid Ahmad, had kidnapped her brother from outside his home in Watford in an attempt to learn his wife's whereabouts.

Courageous Teller Asks Bank Robber For Two Forms Of ID
Excerpt: A Dallas Wells Fargo bank teller risked her life and thousands of dollars on a bet that a robber at her window would be stupid enough to comply with her request that he show two forms of identification. But sure enough, her bet paid off! The robber, 49-year-old Nathan Wayne Pugh of Sachse, Texas, actually took the time to search through his pockets and wallet to produce the IDs -- which turned out to be his Wells Fargo debit card and a state ID card. Then the teller stalled even more by very slowly copying the information.

Donald Trump's Birth Certificate Strategy
Excerpt: Republican pollster John McLaughlin agrees that Trump’s remarks may be part of a larger, and potentially effective, campaign strategy. “Just like Obama won the nomination as the most anti-Bush candidate, the Republican nomination is going to be won by the most anti-Obama candidate,” McLaughlin said. “He’s positioning himself to be the most aggressive candidate against Obama. If you want to win a primary that’s the way you win a primary.” (I can’t say I’d be happy with Trump as the GOP nominee. More ego that brains. ~Bob.)

The Huffington Post Bans Andrew Brietbart From The Front Page After Comments About Van Jones
Excerpt: Breitbart told TheDC, “I have the exact opposite view on free speech that these left-wing freaks at Color of Change have: More voices, not less.” He went on to call Van Jones, a former White House adviser and co-founder of Color of Change “a cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak. And a commie. And an eco-fraudster.” Jones resigned from his position in the Obama administration following a series of embarrassing revelations, including that he had once signed a 9-11 “truther” petition.

Why I'm Quitting Blogging At The Huffington Post
Excerpt: One very loathsome aspect of this story is something that Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff told me in a long phone call about Andrew Breitbart several months ago. Roy knows and worked with Andrew and when the issue of Andrew Breitbart being a racist came up, Roy told me “No, of course Andrew isn’t a racist.” Roy went on to say that while both he and Arianna Huffington knew that the charges of racism being hurled at Andrew weren’t true based on their years of personal dealings with him that they were in a ‘bad position’ to say anything about it. Politics is a contact sport, but not defending someone you know personally and know the truth about is pretty poor conduct. To stand by and watch their reputation ruined and do nothing when all you have to do is say ‘I know him and that’s not true” is shameful. It is true that low level exposure to many hazards is actually good for human beings, starting with kids who play outside and get dirty. It's also true that for many substances, a poison is defined by the amount taken in; for instance, we need water, salt, and oxygen to live, but overwhelming amounts of any of those will result in the subject's death. No potassium in our blood means the heart stops working, but too much potassium and the heart stops. The possibility that low level exposure to radiation may trigger a response in the immune system that will make it more effective against cancer cells, and thereby reduce the incidence of cancer in people exposed that way, can't be denied offhand. The data that are quoted below indicate it may be a strong possibility, in fact, a significant probability. Studies could be under taken with animals to check this out, but right now no one is proposing that.

A Glowing Report on Radiation
I ran this before, but wanted to include Del’s comments. ~Bob. Excerpt: With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer. This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however, burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine. (When this column appeared, Coulter was instantly attacked by assorted Liberal pundits for being crazy and supposedly trying to put a good face on a tragic event. However, over the past years Liberals have enthusiastically supported the dangers of overpopulation causing massive starvation across the world (supposed to have happened well before the year 2000), the approaching ice age (also now long overdue), the ban on DDT (which turns out to not be remotely as toxic as claimed, and the nonuse of which has caused millions of unnecessary deaths from malaria), and even a panic against the use of a chemical (Alar) for fruit ripening that turned out to be harmless and has been used by Europeans ever since. (We'll just skip the whole Anthropomorphic Global Warming thing for now.) Apparently good science is that which is approved by expert scientists like Al Gore, Meryl Streep, and assorted others famous for their skills as entertainers and otherwise public figures. Me, I'm just a guy with a couple of degrees in Chemistry and a lot of practice using Statistics, and some weird notions about evaluating data objectively and only drawing conclusions which are well supported by data that can be shown to be both appropriately gathered (that's a real trick sometimes) and compelling in rigorous analysis. So I can say that what Coulter says here could well be valid, and we can all hope that it is. Time will tell. -Del)

Obama’s Anti-Drilling Agenda Costs Jobs Across America
Excerpt: President Obama’s hometown of Chicago is nearly 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. But like many other communities across the country, it is suffering the consequences of his Administration’s anti-drilling agenda. Illinois accounted for $376.2 million in shallow-water drilling expenditures over the past three years, according to an analysis by 14 oil and gas companies that spend money on vendors and subcontractors. The bulk of that money—$242.2 million—was spent in the Chicago district represented by Representative Danny Davis (D–IL). It’s fresh evidence that Obama’s anti-drilling agenda is having a ripple effect across America since last year’s oil spill, claiming jobs not just in Louisiana and Texas but also in communities far removed from the shipyards in the Gulf of Mexico.

Stealth-And-Trade (EPA funding political groups)
Excerpt: Green Corruption: The Environmental Protection Agency is giving funds to charitable organizations to attack GOP members of Congress. Did you know telling the truth about climate change causes childhood asthma? We have heard the litany of horrors that climate change is said to bring about — retreating glaciers, rising sea levels, drought and flooding, disease and famine. Now we are told that fighting the EPA's power grab to regulate greenhouse gases will lead to an increase in childhood asthma. The American Lung Association, considered one of America's most credible and worthy charities, has placed four billboards in Michigan's 6th Congressional District — including one outside the office of Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee — that feature a sickly looking girl with an oxygen mask and read, "Rep. Fred Upton, protect our kids' health. Don't weaken the Clean Air Act." But what Upton and the Republican House majority that most voters elected in November are trying to do is restore the Clean Air Act to its true meaning and congressional intent.

Caught Red-Handed
Excerpt: Freedom's Enemies: A collaborator of the Rosenbergs admits his previously unknown Soviet espionage more than 60 years after the fact. It's just the latest revelation that the anti-communists of that era were right. The "innocent victims" of the Red Scare were once legion — like suave U.S. envoy Alger Hiss, who doubled as a Soviet spy chief, and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who gave Moscow A-bomb plans. The latest debunking of this myth is Rosenberg fellow spy Morton Sobell, who finally admitted it in 2008. But in a December interview with Ronald Radosh and Steven Usdin, Sobell, 93, added that he gave hundreds of secret Air Force documents to the Soviets in 1948. Sobell also fingered William Perl, who had been attending the City College of New York with Sobell and Julius Rosenberg, and worked at a Virginia Army air base during World War II. Perl had denied wrongdoing, but was convicted of perjury in 1953.

Exposures and progress at Fukushima Daiichi
Excerpt: Three contractors were installing cables in the first floor and basement of the turbine building of unit 3, having to standing in water that resulted in exposures of around 170 millisieverts to the skin on their legs. Two have been taken to hospital. The dose is higher than a commonly accepted value of 100 millisieverts for nuclear workers in an emergency situation, but less than the 250 millisieverts temporarily allowed by Japanese authorities. The World Health Organisation, however, said that a limit of 500 millisiverts is an international standard for emergency work. (Here in the US, we don’t normally think of electrical workers as “heroes,” but these guys qualify. It’s hard to get a sense of proportion from the MSM. Associated Press is reporting “a possible breach of the core” (go for the shock! then add), or maybe it’s a leaky pipe, or radiation from the continuing venting to relieve pressure. That’s like a doctor telling you every wart you have could be a sign of cancer; while technically true, it gives no sense of proportion or likeliness. --Ron P. I can’t die from cancer—I have too much time and trouble invested in my IPF! ~Bob.)

John Wayne at the Alamo on a Republic and Freedom

Why Would We Expect Kids of Illegal Immigrants to Love America?
excerpt: As per usual, when liberals hear something that challenges them or makes them uncomfortable, they reflexively try to shut down the discussion: An Arizona state senator has set off a hot debate over racism and taxpayer-funded education of illegal immigrants with her public reading of a constituent letter that said most Hispanic students “hate America.” “Most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters,” said State Sen. Lori Klein on the chamber floor Friday, quoting from a letter by a Phoenix-area substitute public school teacher sent to Senate President Russell Pearce. “They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico.”

Worth Reading: Good Writing Needs a Tiger Mom
Excerpt: We're moving swiftly into post-literate America, and more's the pity. Many of us can't write a coherent, straightforward, easy-to-read sentence. Nobody but a Tiger mother seems interested in teaching her cubs how to write clearly. The ubiquitous e-mail message had just about done the language in, and then came texting and Twittering, with its abbreviations and inane speech conventions. OMG, soon we'll all have sore thumbs and speak only a version of pidgin. (One of the things I have noticed within the academic/engineering circle I now am involved in is how the ability to write well separates the men from the boys in terms of professional success. An engineer who cannot articulate his work stands far behind one who can. I saw this same thing at the Pentagon. –Greg.)

Confidence in Obama at Rock Bottom
The worse news is that the optimistic folks are the ones not paying attention. ~bob. Excerpt: Only one in five likely voters believes our country is “heading in the right direction.” That’s the rock-bottom level of confidence since Barack Obama became President in January 2009. At the same time, the number of voters who think America’s best days lie ahead now is “at its lowest point in 17 months.” And 27 percent think the economy will be even weaker in five years. This downcast view of our future was determined in Rasmussen Reports polls March 16, 18, and 22. Those findings preceded another March 22 survey showing the Obama Administration’s rampant spending is likely largely responsible for voters’ loss of faith in the course the nation is taking. You can add to the uncertainty Obama’s bizarre energy policy to squelch oil production and his puzzling foreign policies. These opinion data, gathered by what may be the country’s most accurate and respected opinion-polling operation, comes at a time when Congress is engaged in a wrestling match of ideologies as to how and how much to plug the federal spending gusher.

Excerpt: Back in 2007, Frank Lautenberg voted to expand the right of habeas corpus to foreign citizens detained overseas in the war on terror. In other words, if you are a terrorist, Frank Lautenberg thinks you are not getting all the Constitutional rights you deserve and he is going to do everything he can to make sure you get them. However, if you are a United States citizen who has not committed any crime whatsoever, apart from opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, Frank Lautenberg believes you deserve no Constitutional rights at all.

Iranian minister gives insight to Islam
Excerpt: Shahram Hadian's family left Iran in 1978, when he was 7. Soon after the family's departure, an Islamic Revolution swept the country, eventually imposing strict Islamic law known as Shari'ah Law. Hadian, raised Muslim but now a Christian minister in Everett told about 100 people Monday at the Benton PUD auditorium in Kennewick how he sees those same changes taking place throughout the world, including in America.

Off to Mecca with Eric Holder's Blessing
Message to employers from Eric Holder: You can avoid the DOJ forcing you to give employees three weeks leave at a critical time by not hiring Muslims. ~Bob. Excerpt: Here are the facts: Safoorah Kahn, 29, was hired to teach middle school math in November 2007. According to her lawyer, she was happy in her job, which included preparing sixth- through eighth-graders for state tests, and running the "math lab." After nine months on the job, Kahn requested a three-week leave of absence in order to perform the hajj -- the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are obliged to undertake at least once in their lives if they can afford it. Employers are required by law to honor requests for religious accommodations provided that they do not impose "undue hardship" on the employer or other employees. Berkeley officials maintained that a three-week absence in December -- which would have denied the school its only math lab instructor right before exams -- was unreasonable and was not covered by the teachers' union contract. They denied her request. Kahn decided to make the trip anyway and submitted her resignation.

Excerpt: As a general rule, New York Times editorials have an inverse relation ship to reality. The harder they bang on an issue, the more you can be certain they are wrong. So it is with Gov. Cuomo's plan to limit "pain and suffering" awards to $250,000 in medical-malpractice cases. The Times accuses Cuomo and hospitals of bad faith, and claims the plan will "punish patients badly injured by medical negligence." It demands a "debate . . . that includes legal experts and patients' advocates." Oh, yes, the "legal experts," especially those who double as members of the Legislature. Perhaps that well-known "patient advocate," Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, of Weitz & Luxenberg employ, could join the debate.

Gianna Jessen gives amazing speech in Australia
Excerpt: I was first introduced to Gianna Jessen on Hannity and Colmes in the 2008 elections as she came on their show to do battle against Obama. For those of you who’ve never heard of Jessen, she was aborted by saline solution yet she was born alive and thanks to her abortionist not being present, they cared for her. Because of the lack of oxygen to her brain from the saline burn, she now has Cerebral Palsy but she wears that as a jewel in her crown.

Do you approve of the job Gov. Walker is doing?
Vote & pass it on. ~Bob.

Violent Jihad Kills Muslims, 'Islamophobia' Does Not
Excerpt: Putting aside the question of whether they care a whit about non-Muslims, have Islamist pressure groups and their leftist helpers considered how terrorism impacts Muslims' lives? As they peddle the trumped-up threat of "Islamophobia," actual Islamist terrorism is murdering actual Muslims, both globally and domestically: Muslims comprised 85% of al-Qaeda's victims from 2004 to 2008, numerous innocent Muslims like Hamdani died on 9/11, and the March 10 testimony of Abdirizak Bihi, whose nephew had been radicalized in the U.S. and killed while on jihad in Somalia, illuminated yet another path by which Islamism snuffs out the lives of Muslims. What about "Islamophobia"? Though Islamists and their allies depict bigotry as a veritable life-or-death matter for American Muslims, the data say otherwise. Indeed, online FBI hate crime statistics, spanning 1996 to 2009, record not even a single Muslim dying due to an anti-Islamic incident in the United States. Islamist terrorism kills Muslims; "Islamophobia" does not.

A euro collapse will harm U.S. economy more than Japan's disaster
The collapse is gathering steam. At this rate, it is progressing faster than my IPF, so I may get to see it. ~Bib. Excerpt: It's not the Japanese catastrophe that might threaten the American economic recovery, it's Europe. On Wednesday, Portugal's parliament rejected government-proposed austerity measures, Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned, and now Portugal almost certainly will need a bailout. America's economy may be dragged into Europe's approaching cataclysm. Not only will America be called on to bail out Europe's debts, but Europeans will have to cut back purchases of American exports. American Enterprise Institute fellow Desmond Lachman told me Thursday, "The fall of the Portuguese government could not have occurred at a worse time, coming as it does on the eve of a European summit which was supposed to announce a grand bargain as a solution to Europe's ills."

A Nation of Dropouts Shakes Europe
Where statism takes you. ~Bob. Excerpt: Portugal is the poorest country in Western Europe. It is also the least educated, and that has emerged as a painful liability in its gathering economic crisis. Wednesday night, the economic crisis became a political crisis. Portugal's parliament rejected Prime Minister José Sócrates's plan for spending cuts and tax increases. Mr. Sócrates handed in his resignation. He will hang on as a caretaker until a new government is formed. Without the budget cuts, Portugal is almost certain to need an international bailout. It will run out of money this year without fresh cash, and markets are charging punitive rates for borrowing. Two firms downgraded Portugal's credit rating Thursday…. Cheap rote labor that once sustained Portugal's textile industry has vanished to Asia. The former Eastern Bloc countries that joined the European Union en masse in 2004 offer lower wages and workers with more schooling. They have sucked skilled jobs away. Just 28% of the Portuguese population between 25 and 64 has completed high school. The figure is 85% in Germany, 91% in the Czech Republic and 89% in the U.S. (Perhaps the morons in the US Congress, Republican, Democrat, Libertarians, and Socialists (Vermont) had better realize the implication for USA. Fast forward three to five years and this is what we are looking at: a workforce capable of nothing other than lawn care. Democrats have ordered our borders to the south to remain open---the result is that we have all the landscapers we will need for the foreseeable future---ergo, the 40 million Americans out of work or incapable of being employed will lay around and smoke dope and drink wine---just like the folks in Portugal!!! --Tom C. USMC (Ret.)

Good graphic on the fiscal crisis & public unions

CBO Sees Benefits in Taxing Motorists Based on Miles Driven
Excerpt: While raising fuel taxes would bring in more money, the CBO notes that a "fundamental" problem would remain: "By themselves, fuel taxes cannot provide a strong incentive for people to avoid overusing highways," the report said. On the other hand, VMT taxes would have most motorists paying "substantially more than they do now -- perhaps several times more," the report said. "Such a system would maximize the efficiency of highway use by discouraging trips for which costs exceed benefits." (...) The CBO prepared the study at the request of the Senate Budget Committee. (The headline is an exaggeration. The CBO merely reported as requested; by law, they are forbidden from making policy recommendations. Thus, “someone else”—I wonder who—sees “benefits." Also, notice this report was requested by the party of beancounters. Ron P.)

Hispanic boom will strengthen America, not weaken it
Excerpt: Like the descendants of their German, Italian, Polish, and other immigrant predecessors, Hispanics have adopted English as their primary -- indeed, for most third-generation Hispanics, only -- language. They eventually catch up in earnings and other indicators of social integration, though they still lag in completion of college degrees. As a point of reference, it took Italian-Americans six decades from their point of peak immigration to catch up with other groups in education attainment. And in the ultimate test of assimilation, Hispanics actually intermarry at higher rates than their European counterparts did at a similar point in their history in the U.S. If this pattern continues, the increase in the size of the Hispanic population will have no more disruptive effect on the character of the American population than did the absorption of millions of Southern and Eastern Europeans early in the 20th century. But, as occurred then, a large and growing backlash against this demographic shift is taking place now. (Given our falling birth rate, America needs more citizens of Hispanic ancestry who want to be Americans and assimilate into American culture. We need to bar those who want to be Mexicans in exile and bring their failed culture here, supported by the welfare state. But state-depended poor are the bread and butter of Democrat politicians. ~Bob.)

Former Clinton Official Paid $26 Million by Fannie Mae Before Taxpayer Bailout Now on Obama Shortlist to Run FBI
The Obama Administration is like a cesspool—the big chunks always rise to the top. ~Bob. Excerpt: Jamie Gorelick, a former Clinton administration official who reportedly has made the Obama administration's short list to become the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was paid more than $26 million in total compensation as a top executive at Fannie Mae--before taxpayers had to bail out the mortgage giant. Gorelick, who left the Clinton Justice Department in 1997 to work for Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, was paid $26,466,834 in salary, bonuses, performance pay and stock options from 1998 to 2003…. In a 1995 Justice Department memo, written when she was deputy attorney general, Kagan prescribed a policy for limiting the flow of information between intelligence gatherers and criminal investigators within the Justice Department. In the memo, “Instructions on Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal Investigations,” Gorelick set out guidelines for concurrent investigations into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing by both criminal investigators and intelligence officers within the Department of Justice. Rules stemming from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), under which the intelligence community was operating as part of its investigation, stipulates that information may only be gathered by way of surveillance for the primary purpose of intelligence, not to contribute to a criminal case under which defendants have more constitutional protections.

In major cuts, Gov. Jerry Brown slashes services for poor, sick and elderly
Excerpt: Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law billions of dollars in budget cuts Thursday that will mean fewer government services, particularly for the old, the poor and the sick. (Doesn’t appear to have gone after the SEIU, so probably no riots. ~Bob.)

Immigrant killed by deputy had troubled past
Excerpt: When Felipe Ramirez Castellanos stood in front of an immigration judge in Arizona last April, the end of his time in the U.S. must have seemed near. With an immigration history that included arrest for human smuggling and a denied visa application, Castellanos was brought before the judge after a traffic stop in Pinal County. Without money to pay the $7,500 bond, some combination of prison and deportation was likely on the horizon. Instead, Castellanos walked out of the courtroom pending a removal hearing that never occurred. Within nine months, Castellanos was dead, shot at close range by a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy in front of the east Mesa home Castellanos shared with his family. (Keep in mind, this is written in the Illegal-Alien-Friendly Arizona Republic. –DH.)


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Robert A. Hall
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